Salukis rattle Schiff in win

By Gus Bode

SIU defensive line gets to Sycamore quarterback early, often Spt_indstfolo_jd_10/7

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Late in Saturday afternoon’s game against No. 8 SIU, Indiana State quarterback Jake Schiff was in pain.

After failing to convert on a third-down play in the fourth quarter, Schiff gingerly walked off the field and, instead of taking a seat next to his offensive teammates on the bench, he sat on the water table and dropped his head.

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He remained in that pose until he slowly walked back to the huddle. Before that sign of movement, one could not tell if he was still alive or not.

One cannot blame Schiff for hanging his head after the beating he took in the Sycamores’ 37-14 loss to the Salukis.

The redshirt freshman spent more time lying on the turf at Memorial Stadium than running on it, a result of the Salukis’ defensive line dominating the line of scrimmage.

On seemingly every play, Indiana State’s offensive linemen were getting beat, and SIU’s defenders were getting to unload on Schiff.

Saluki defensive linemen ended the game with 14 tackles and two sacks, with seven different players recording at least one tackle.

The sacks came from defensive end James Fields and defensive tackle Linton Brown with a third coming from cornerback Melvin Vance. Jeff Jones sacked Schiff in the closing seconds of the first half, but it was waved off as Jones was guilty of a facemask penalty on the call.

All the pressure clearly rattled the young quarterback, and that is exactly what the Salukis wanted to do.

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“I think at the beginning of the game, we set the tone when the defensive line was just busting through and making plays,” SIU linebacker Royal Whitaker said. “Throughout the game he just played real timid, and that’s what we wanted.”

Schiff’s statistics for the game make it look like he did not have too bad of a day. He threw for 176 yards on 11 of 32 passes and a touchdown. But he was intercepted twice and sacked three times, losing a total of 27 yards.

SIU head coach Jerry Kill was pleased with the play of his defensive linemen but said they still had work to do.

“They played pretty hard, but I think we had two bad series as a defense, and that’s something we got to get cleaned up,” Kill said.

Fittingly, Schiff spent his final play of the game on the ground.

On a fourth-and-21 with just less than five minutes remaining in the game, Schiff was pressured and knocked to the ground yet again following an errant throw.

As the teams cleared the field, Schiff remained kneeling as his whole body seemingly went limp.

He eventually picked himself up and struggled to get to the sideline where he and the rest of the Indiana State offense would remain until the final buzzer sounded.

The buzzer not only signaled the end of the game; it signaled the end of Schiff’s beating.

Reporter Jens Deju can be reached at [email protected]

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